A shocking and disturbing incident unfolded at the Makhachkala airport in Dagestan, Russia, as a large mob, some shouting antisemitic slogans, stormed the facility. Video footage circulated on social media depicting an angry crowd running through the airport, reportedly seeking individuals arriving from Tel Aviv. In response, Israel has called on Russia to protect “all its citizens and all Jews,” while the United States and international leaders have joined in condemning the antisemitic protests.
Video clips shared on social media showed hundreds of people storming the airport terminal, with some waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). The chaotic situation extended to the airport’s runway, where the mob surrounded aircraft, causing considerable disruption and putting lives at risk.
Russia’s aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, moved swiftly to control the situation, with authorities arriving at the scene. The airport was subsequently declared “provisionally closed” until November 6. As the situation unfolded, the health ministry of the Dagestan republic reported that 20 people, including police officers, were injured. Some of them sustained severe injuries, and two were in critical condition. Law enforcement in Dagestan has opened a criminal case for civil disorder in response to the airport invasion.
Dagestan’s Unique Position
Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim Russian republic located in the North Caucasus region along the western edge of the Caspian Sea, has a complex socio-cultural landscape. The diverse population, including various ethnic and religious groups, makes Dagestan a unique region within Russia. In this context, it is crucial to emphasize the need for tolerance and peaceful coexistence among different communities.
The Israeli government and the international community were quick to respond to the antisemitic protests in Dagestan. Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement urging Russia to take decisive action against incitement to violence targeting Jews and Israelis. In a tweet, the U.S. presidential spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, vehemently condemned the antisemitic protests and expressed unwavering support for the global Jewish community. The White House National Security Council Spokesperson stressed that there is never any excuse or justification for antisemitism.
Dagestan’s Appeal for Calm
While some protesters in Dagestan voiced support for Gaza amid widespread international protests against Israel’s actions in the region, Dagestan’s government appealed to its citizens to remain calm and not participate in such demonstrations. Governor Sergei Melikov took to Telegram to denounce the mob’s invasion of the airport, emphasizing the importance of treating strangers with respect and condemning attacks on women with children. He described the incident as a “stab in the back” for Dagestani patriots, including those serving in the Russian armed forces.
Israel’s Call for Protection
Israel’s foreign ministry has been in close contact with the Israeli ambassador in Moscow to address the situation. In an official statement, Israel expressed its deep concern over attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere and emphasized the importance of safeguarding their well-being. The ministry called upon Russian law enforcement authorities to take robust action against the rioters and the unbridled incitement targeting Jews and Israelis.
The antisemitic mob’s storming of the Makhachkala airport in Dagestan has sent shockwaves across the globe, prompting strong condemnations from Israel and the international community. This incident serves as a reminder of the need for tolerance, respect, and peaceful coexistence among diverse communities. As the world unites in its denunciation of antisemitism, the responsibility falls on both local and global authorities to ensure the safety and security of all individuals, regardless of their background or beliefs.